John Sevier
American politician
John Sevier
John Sevier served four years (1785–1789) as the only governor of the State of Franklin and twelve years (1796–1801 and 1803–1809) as Governor of Tennessee. As a U.S. Representative from Tennessee from 1811 until his death. He also served as the commander of the Washington County, North Carolina, contingent of the Overmountain Men in the Battle of Kings Mountain.
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Burning RV closes northbound Alcoa Highway - Knoxville News Sentinel
Google News - over 5 years
John Sevier Highway, according to the Knox County E-911 Center. At 6:09 am, Knoxville police officers closed the roadway. By 7 am police reported the flames had been doused. Police requested a tow truck capable of hauling the shell of a gutted 24-foot
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Nuclear power, natural gas-fired units up for sale - Power Engineering Magazine
Google News - over 5 years
The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA, NYSE: TVC) said it is looking to sell the 1180 MW Watts Bar Unit 2, along with the new John Sevier combined-cycle natural gas-fired power plant, to help finance the $4.9 billion completion of the Bellefonte nuclear ... - -
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Repaving work closes Alcoa Highway ramp to Gov. John Sevier Highway - Knoxville News Sentinel
Google News - over 5 years
John Sevier Highway as workers repave the ramp joining the routes. Crews with the Tennessee Department of Transportation will close the ramp from 8:30 am until 3 pm while performing the maintenance work, according to TDOT regional spokesman Mark Nagi
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Bellefonte restart gets green light - Chattanooga Times Free Press
Google News - over 5 years
The nine-member Tennessee Valley Authority board also authorized paying for Bellefonte's completion by selling the nearly complete Watts Bar Unit 2 nuclear reactor in Rhea County and the John Sevier gas plant. TVA President and CEO Tom Kilgore said TVA
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School rezoning plan: Maryville parents generally pleased with new zones - Maryville Daily Times
Google News - over 5 years
Wise's only concern was about his daughter, who currently attends John Sevier Elementary School. Officials later promised to work with the family. Tracy Bolling was similarly pleased with the plan but worried about how it would affect her children
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Daytripper: Sit a spell or spin a yarn in Jonesborough - Asheville Citizen-Times
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Pioneers like Daniel Boone and John Sevier came across the Appalachian Mountains into modern-day Tennessee and joined hundreds of others searching for a new home. By 1770, an estimated 3000 non-native settlers carved out new lives in the Jonesborough
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Suspect wanted for connection with two morning robberies - WBIR-TV
Google News - over 5 years
The suspect then left the store in a silver minivan on Chapman Highway towards Knoxville. Officials also received a call from a hair salon on John Sevier Highway in Knox County who said a suspect matching the same description robbed their salon on
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Dane Bradshaw brings message of encouragement to teachers - Blount Today
Google News - over 5 years
Teachers and staff at John Sevier Elementary School enjoy listening to remarks by former UT basketball standout Dane Bradshaw. Rick Wilson is a consummate University of Florida fan. So when the John Sevier Elementary School principal
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John Martin highlights the weekend's biggest events - WBIR-TV
Google News - over 5 years
Build your own cardboard boat and race it at the John Sevier Swimming Pool at 7 pm Boat check-in will be from 6 to 6:45 pm Can't build one? You should go watch it anyway. More information can be found at
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Maryville proposes new elementary, intermediate zones - Maryville Daily Times
Google News - over 5 years
John Sevier Elementary School, which serves 474 students, has a 45.4 percent free- and reduced-price meal rate. Sam Houston Elementary School, which serves 493 students, has a 35.9 percent free- and reduced-price meal rate
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Cardboard Boat Race - Blount Today
Google News - over 5 years
Blount County Public Library's “Cardboard Boat Race: Cruise the World with Books” will be held at 7 pm Friday, July 15, at the John Sevier Swimming Pool on Sequoyah Avenue across from John Sevier Elementary School in Maryville
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Judge approves TVA settlement on air pollution - Asheville Citizen-Times
Google News - over 5 years
The pact calls for TVA to close two units at the John Sevier plant in East Tennessee, six units at the Widows Creek plant in north Alabama and all 10 units at the Johnsonville plant in Middle Tennessee by 2017. Pollution controls would be installed at
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TVA looking to buy combined cycle plant in Mississippi - WBIR-TV
Google News - over 5 years
TVA owns several other cycle gas plants including one that is under construction at the John Sevier Site in Rogersville. The plants use waste heat to make more electricity. The facilities are part of TVA's plans to increase natural gas fueled
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YourNews: Blount County Public Library to sponsor cardboard boat race - Knoxville News Sentinel
Google News - over 5 years
Think of your favorite book, create a cardboard boat depicting a theme from that boat and race then it at the John Sevier Swimming Pool at 7 pm Friday, July 15. Boat check-in will be from 6-6:45 pm This event is free and open to the public
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Rebecca Simmons: Marble Springs farmers' market new but growing - Knoxville News Sentinel
Google News - over 5 years
Since Anna Chappelle took the job as executive director at Marble Springs State Historic Site in 2009, she has wanted to organize a farmers' market on the grounds that served as a working farm and weekend retreat by John Sevier, Tennessee's first
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Knox County Commission to weigh grant to build Ramsey House museum - Knoxville News Sentinel
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John Sevier Highway. The exact location of the new museum has not yet been determined. The structure will include under one roof an enclosed museum area focusing on the Ramsey family's role in transportation and a pavilion. The Ramsey House would make
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Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of John Sevier
  • 1815
    Age 69
    In 1815, Sevier died in the Alabama Territory while conducting a survey of lands which Jackson had recently acquired from the Creek tribe.
    More Details Hide Details He was buried along the Tallapoosa River near Fort Decatur. In 1889, at the request of Governor Robert Love Taylor, his remains were re-interred in the Knox County Courthouse lawn in Knoxville. A monument was placed on the grave in 1893, in a ceremony that included a speech by historian Oliver Perry Temple. In 1922, the remains of his second wife, Catherine Sherill, were re-interred next to Sevier's. A monument recognizing his first wife, Sarah Hawkins, was placed at the site in 1946. In his book, The Lost State of Franklin, Kevin Barksdale points out that while Sevier was driven, at least in part, by a desire to acquire his own land claims in the trans-Appalachian region, he represents for many East Tennesseans, "rugged individualism, regional exceptionalism, and civic dignity." For nearly a century after his death, historians such as J. G. M. Ramsey and Oliver Perry Temple heaped unconditional praise upon Sevier, and romanticized various events in his life. These events were clarified by later authors such as Theodore Roosevelt (Winning of the West) and Samuel Cole Williams (History of the Lost State of Franklin).
  • 1812
    Age 66
    Sevier was a staunch supporter of the War of 1812, and President James Madison offered him a command in the army, but Sevier turned it down.
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  • 1811
    Age 65
    In 1811, Sevier was elected to the U.S. Congress for the state's.
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    After his last term as governor, Sevier was elected to three terms in the United States House of Representatives, serving from 1811 until his death in 1815.
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  • 1809
    Age 63
    Term limits preventing him from a fourth consecutive term, Sevier sought one of the state's U.S. Senate seats in 1809, but the legislature chose Joseph Anderson. (Popular election of senators did not happen until after a constitutional amendment in the early 20th century.) Sevier ran for the Knox County state senate seat, winning easily.
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  • 1807
    Age 61
    Sevier's last campaign for governor was in 1807, when he defeated William Cocke.
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  • 1805
    Age 59
    Jackson supported Roane in the state's gubernatorial election in 1805, but Sevier won with nearly two-thirds of the vote.
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  • 1804
    Age 58
    In 1804, Sevier helped William C. C. Claiborne get appointed governor of the newly acquired Louisiana Territory, a position Jackson had sought.
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  • 1803
    Age 57
    When Sevier announced his candidacy for governor in 1803, Roane and Jackson made documents from the Nashville land office scandal public, and accused Sevier of bribery.
    More Details Hide Details Their efforts to smear Sevier were unsuccessful, however, and Sevier easily defeated Roane in the election. Following his inauguration, Sevier encountered Jackson in Knoxville. They had an argument during which Sevier accused Jackson of adultery in his marriage to Rachel Donelson. An enraged Jackson challenged Sevier to a duel, which Sevier accepted. The duel was to take place at Southwest Point, but Sevier's wagon stalled at Campbell's Station en route to the duel. As Jackson returned to Knoxville, he encounted Sevier's entourage. The two loudly exchanged insults, and Sevier's horse ran away, carrying his pistols. Jackson pointed his pistol at Sevier, who hid behind a tree. Sevier's son pointed his pistol at Jackson, and Jackson's second pointed his pistol at Sevier's son. Members of both parties managed to resolve the incident before bloodshed took place.
  • 1796
    Age 50
    During his first term as governor, Sevier developed a rivalry with rising politician Andrew Jackson. In 1796, Jackson campaigned for the position of major-general of the state militia, but was thwarted when Sevier threw his support behind George Conway. Jackson also learned that Sevier had referred to him as a "poor pitiful petty fogging lawyer" in private correspondence. In 1797, Jackson, at the time a U.S. Senator, became aware of massive fraud that had taken place at North Carolina's Nashville land office in the 1780s, and notified the governor of North Carolina.
    More Details Hide Details When the governor demanded the office's documents, Sevier blocked their transfer, leading Jackson to conclude that Sevier was somehow involved in the scandal. After Sevier's third (two-year) term as governor, term limits prevented him from seeking a fourth consecutive term, and Archibald Roane was elected as his replacement. Both Sevier and Jackson campaigned for major-general of the militia, and when the vote ended in a tie, Roane chose Jackson.
    He played a leading role, both militarily and politically, in Tennessee's pre-statehood period, and was elected the state's first governor in 1796.
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  • 1793
    Age 47
    In the Fall of 1793, following the Cherokee attack on Cavett's Station west of Knoxville, Sevier led the territorial militia south into Georgia, where he defeated a Cherokee force at the Battle of Hightower and destroyed several villages.
    More Details Hide Details The following year, he was appointed by President Washington to the territorial council, a body which had a function similar to that of a state senate. That same year, he was appointed to the first Board of Trustees of Blount College, the forerunner of the University of Tennessee. In 1796, the Southwest Territory was admitted to the Union as the State of Tennessee. Sevier missed the state's constitutional convention while serving on the territorial council in Washington, but was elected the new state's first governor. Sevier made the acquisition of Indian lands a priority, and consistently urged Congress and the Secretary of War to negotiate new treaties to that end.
  • 1789
    Age 43
    When the senate convened in November 1789, Sevier worked in support of the state's ratification of the U.S. Constitution.
    More Details Hide Details After it was ratified on November 23, Sevier helped engineer a second cession act, which passed with little opposition in December, essentially handing over what is now the state of Tennessee to the federal government. To administer the new cession, Congress created the Southwest Territory in the Spring of 1790, which was administered under the Northwest Ordinance. Sevier was appointed brigadier general of the territorial militia, and fellow land speculator and North Carolina politician, William Blount, was appointed governor. In June 1791, Blount negotiated the Treaty of Holston, which resolved the land disputes with the Cherokee created by the Treaty of Dumplin Creek. Just before the cession, the territory was the fifth congressional district of North Carolina, and Sevier was elected to represent it in the first Congress. By the time he arrived in New York City, the cession of Tennessee had taken place. Sevier was permitted to serve out his term despite the fact he was no longer representing an actual district.
    In February 1789, Sevier took the Oath of Allegiance to North Carolina.
    More Details Hide Details He was elected to the North Carolina state senate, and was pardoned by North Carolina Governor Alexander Martin.
    In January 1789, Sevier defeated a large Cherokee invasion led by John Watts at the Battle of Flint Creek near Jonesborough.
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  • 1788
    Age 42
    Following the Battle of Franklin, support for Sevier and the State of Franklin collapsed in areas north of the French Broad River, and North Carolina Governor Samuel Johnston issued a warrant for his arrest in July 1788.
    More Details Hide Details In October, after Sevier attacked Jonesborough store owner David Deaderick for refusing to sell him liquor, Tipton and his men apprehended the leader. He was sent to Morganton, North Carolina, to stand trial for treason, but was released by the Burke County sheriff, William Morrison (a Kings Mountain veteran), before the trial began.
    In the Summer of 1788, a family of settlers was killed by renegade Cherokees in Blount County in what became known as the Nine Mile Creek Massacre.
    More Details Hide Details In response, Sevier invaded and destroyed several Cherokee towns in the Little Tennessee Valley. Several Cherokee leaders met with Sevier under a flag of truce to discuss peace, and a member of the murdered family, John Kirke, attacked the delegation and killed several chiefs, among them Old Tassel and Old Abraham of Chilhowee. This action enraged the Cherokee, and many of them threw their support behind Dragging Canoe.
    In February 1788, the rivalry between Sevier and Tipton came to a head in what became known as the "Battle of Franklin."
    More Details Hide Details While Sevier was away campaigning against the Cherokee, Tipton ordered some of his slaves seized for taxes supposedly owed to North Carolina. In response, Sevier led 150 militia to Tipton's farm, which was defended by about 45 loyalists. Both sides demanded the other surrender, and briefly exchanged gunfire. On February 29, two days after the siege began, loyalist reinforcements from Sullivan County arrived on the scene and scattered the Franklinites. Sevier retreated, though not before two men were killed. Many Franklinites were captured with two of Sevier's sons, but all subsequently released.
  • 1785
    Age 39
    In June 1785, Sevier negotiated the Treaty of Dumplin Creek, in which the Cherokee gave up claims to lands south of the French Broad River as far as the Little River–Little Tennessee River divide.
    More Details Hide Details The following year, the Treaty of Coyatee extended the boundary to the Little Tennessee River, and the State of Franklin created three new counties (modern Cocke, Sevier, and Blount counties). The United States never ratified these treaties, however, and the fate of the settlers who moved into these areas remained in limbo for years.
  • 1784
    Age 38
    In August 1784, Sevier served as president of a convention held at Jonesborough with the aim of establishing a new state.
    More Details Hide Details In March of the following year, he was elected governor of the proposed state, which was named "Franklin" in honor of Benjamin Franklin. In October 1784, North Carolina rescinded the cession and reasserted its claim to the Tennessee region. Sevier initially supported this, in part because he was offered a promotion to brigadier general, but was convinced by William Cocke to remain with the Franklinites. Though Sevier had popular support, a number of Washington Countians, led by John Tipton (1730–1813), remained loyal to North Carolina, creating a situation in which two parallel governments– one loyal to Franklin and one to North Carolina– were operating in Tennessee. Both elected public officials. Relations between the two governments were initially cordial, though a rivalry developed between Sevier and Tipton. As North Carolina and Franklin competed for the loyalties of the residents of the area, Sevier became involved in intrigues with Georgia to gain control of Cherokee lands in what is now northern Alabama. He had taken out claims on several thousand acres of land. He even considered an alliance with Spain, whose Governor Esteban Rodríguez Miró tried to sway Sevier, but Sevier eventually abandoned the idea.
  • 1782
    Age 36
    In September 1782, Sevier set out on an expedition against Dragging Canoe and his band of Cherokee, who were now concentrated in a string of villages in northern Georgia and Alabama.
    More Details Hide Details Because Dragging Canoe's band had earlier been settled near the Chickamauga River, the European-American settlers called them by that name, but they were Cherokee. While the people were decentralized, this band was never identified separately from the Cherokee. Sevier defeated a small force near Lookout Mountain, and destroyed several Cherokee villages along the Coosa River. In June 1784, North Carolina, bowing to pressure from the Continental Congress and eager to be rid of an expensive and unprofitable district, ceded its lands west of the Appalachian Mountains to the federal government. However, Congress did not immediately accept the lands, creating a vacuum of power in what is now Tennessee.
  • 1781
    Age 35
    In February 1781, Sevier was commissioned colonel-commandant of the Washington County militia following the death of John Carter.
    More Details Hide Details Shortly afterward, he embarked on an expedition against the Cherokee Middle Towns, which lay on the other side of the mountains in the vicinity of modern Bryson City, North Carolina. Emerging from the mountains in March, his 150-man force took the village of Tuckasegee by surprise, killing about 50 and capturing several others. Facing little opposition, he proceeded to destroy about 15 villages before returning home.
  • 1780
    Age 34
    On December 16, 1780, he routed a Cherokee force at the Battle of Boyd's Creek, near modern Sevierville.
    More Details Hide Details A few days later, he was joined by a contingent of Virginia militia led by Arthur Campbell, and the combined forces continued south, occupying Chota on December 25. They captured and burned Chilhowee and Tallassee three days later. Sevier and Campbell proceeded as far as the Hiwassee River, where they burned the villages of Great Hiwassee and Chestoee, before beginning the march home on New Years Day.
  • 1776
    Age 30
    The Wataugans sent five delegates, among them Sevier, to North Carolina's constitutional convention in November 1776.
    More Details Hide Details The new constitution created the "District of Washington," which included most of modern Tennessee. The new district elected Sevier to one of its two seats in the state's House of Representatives. The district became Washington County, North Carolina in 1777. Sevier was appointed lieutenant-colonel of the new county's militia. Following the British victory at the Battle of Camden in August 1780, a detachment of Loyalists under Major Patrick Ferguson was dispatched to suppress Patriot activity in the mountains. After routing a small force under Charles McDowell, Ferguson sent a message to the Overmountain settlements, warning them that if they refused to lay down their arms, he would march over the mountains and "lay waste the country with fire and sword." Sevier and Sullivan County militia colonel Isaac Shelby agreed to raise armies and march across the mountains to engage Ferguson.
    The committee, which included Sevier, submitted the "Watauga Petition" to Virginia in the Spring of 1776, formally asking to be annexed, but Virginia refused. (Historian J. G. M. Ramsey suggested Sevier wrote the petition, but later historians rejected this).
    More Details Hide Details The Wataugans then petitioned North Carolina. Fearing an invasion by Dragging Canoe, who was receiving arms from the British, the Overmountain settlers built Fort Caswell (commonly called Fort Watauga) to guard the Watauga settlements, and Eaton's Station to guard the Holston settlements. Sevier had begun building Fort Lee to guard settlements in the Nolichucky Valley, but after receiving word of an impending Cherokee invasion from Nancy Ward, the Nolichucky settlers fled to Fort Caswell, and Sevier soon followed. The Cherokee invasion began in mid-July 1776. Dragging Canoe went north to attack the Holston settlements, while a detachment led by Old Abraham of Chilhowee invaded the Watauga settlements. On July 21, Old Abraham's forces reached Fort Caswell, which was garrisoned by 75 militia commanded by John Carter, with Sevier and James Robertson as subordinates. Catherine Sherrill, Sevier's future wife, failed to make it into the fort before the gate was locked, but Sevier managed to reach over the palisades and pull her to safety. The fort's garrison beat back the Cherokee assault, and after a two-week siege, Old Abraham retreated. The Cherokee eventually sued for peace following an invasion of the Overhill country by William Christian in October 1776.
    In 1776, he was elected one of five magistrates of the Watauga Association and helped defend Fort Watauga against an assault by the Cherokee.
    More Details Hide Details At the outbreak of the War for American Independence, he was chosen as a member of the Committee of Safety for the association's successor, the Washington District. Following the Battle of Kings Mountain, he led an invasion that destroyed several Chickamauga towns in northern Georgia. In the 1780s, Sevier served as the only governor of the State of Franklin, an early, unsuccessful, attempt at statehood by the trans-Appalachian settlers. He was brigadier general of the Southwest Territory militia during the early 1790s. Sevier served six two-year terms as Tennessee's governor, from 1796 until 1801, and from 1803 to 1809, with term limits preventing a fourth consecutive term in both instances. His political career was marked by a growing rivalry with rising politician Andrew Jackson, which nearly culminated in a duel in 1803.
  • 1775
    Age 29
    In March 1775, the settlers purchased the lands from the Cherokee, with Sevier listed as a witness to the agreement.
    More Details Hide Details The British refused to recognize the purchase, however, and continued to demand the settlers leave. A group of Cherokees led by Dragging Canoe disagreed with the tribe's sale of the lands, and began making threats against the settlers. With the outbreak of the American Revolution in April 1775, the Wataugans, most of whom were sympathetic to the Patriot cause, organized the Washington District, and formed a 13-member Committee of Safety.
    Sevier was appointed clerk of the Association's five-man court in 1775, and was elected to the court in 1776.
    More Details Hide Details The Royal Proclamation of 1763 forbade English settlement on Indian lands, and as the Watauga settlements were in Cherokee territory, the British considered them illegal.
  • 1773
    Age 27
    In late 1773, Sevier moved his family to the Carter Valley settlements along the Holston River.
    More Details Hide Details Three years later, he relocated further south to the Watauga settlements, in what is now Elizabethton, Tennessee. The Wataugans had leased their lands from the Cherokee in 1772, and had formed a fledgling government known as the Watauga Association.
    Some sources suggest Sevier served as a captain in the Colonial Militia under George Washington in Lord Dunmore's War in 1773 and 1774.
    More Details Hide Details In the early 1770s, Sevier and his brother began making trips to various settlements on the trans-Appalachian frontier, in what is now northeastern Tennessee.
  • 1761
    Age 15
    Sevier married Sarah Hawkins (1746–1780) in 1761.
    More Details Hide Details They had ten children: Joseph, James, John, Elizabeth, Sarah, Mary Ann, Valentine, Rebecca, Richard, and Nancy. Following her death, Sevier married Catherine Sherrill (1754–1836). They had eight children: Catherine, Ruthe, George Washington, Samuel, Polly, Eliza, Joanna, and Robert. Sevier's grandnephew, Ambrose Hundley Sevier (1801–1848), served as one of the first U.S. senators from Arkansas. Sevier County, Arkansas, is named for him. The Conway family, which dominated early Arkansas state politics, were cousins of the Seviers. Henry Conway, the grandfather of Ambrose Sevier and Arkansas's first governor, James Sevier Conway, was a friend of Sevier, and served as Treasurer of the State of Franklin. Two of Sevier's sons, James and John, married Conway's daughters, Nancy and Elizabeth, respectively.
    In 1761 at the age of 16, he married Sarah Hawkins, and gradually settled into a life of farming.
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  • 1745
    A marker also exists on the current grave of John Sevier on the lawn of the Old Knox County Courthouse. This marker claims his birth date was September 23, 1744 in contradiction to most sources that claim his birth year of 1745.
    More Details Hide Details Although no evidence exists for the descent of Sevier from the royal family of St. Francis Xavier of Navarre, the name "Sevier" is an anglicized form of "Xavier" and suggests the family originated in the village of Javier, Navarre. In the 17th century, some members of the Xavier family became Protestants (Huguenots). In 1685, following the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, Sevier's grandfather, Don Juan Xavier, moved to London, and changed his name to John Sevier. Sevier's father, Valentine "The Immigrant" Sevier (1712–1803), was born in London, and immigrated to the colonies in 1740.
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